We went back to Keys View in the morning to see if there was any better visibility of the San Adreas Fault earlier in the morning. It was better but still pretty hazy. We stopped at Lost Horse Mine to hike out and see some of the remains of the mining operations that used to exist. It’s about a 3.5 mile round trip and pretty remote, or at least remote feeling. On the way to the mine, we came across a herd of big horn sheep that let us get pretty close for some good pictures.
After the mine, we went to the Hidden Valley area and wandered along the Hall of Horrors trail for a while before heading South toward the other end of the park. On the drive south, we made a few stops at the Cholla Cactus Garden, home of the jumping Chollas that seem to magically (and painfully) attach themselves to people, Ocotillo Patch (different kind of cactus) and the Cottonwood Visitor Center / Lost Palms Oasis before leaving the park to the South. We must have been pretty tired from the heat, because we chose not to hike the Lost Palms Oasis trail but instead to stick to the short trail near the parking lot.
Our next stop was Ventura, CA which meant that the evening was one of the longer legs of driving for the vacation. Coupled with the fact that we weren’t exactly avoiding the high traffic times around LA and the need to stop for supplies when we got near some of the more established cities we didn’t get in to Ventura until well into the evening – probably another reason that we didn’t want to spent a few more hours hiking earlier that afternoon. Fortunately for the driving, Janet had the book 5 of the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series on audiobook.